This piece is dedicated to my cousin, Austin. Currently he is in the hospital, with such severe health problems that all the doctors and specialists could do for him was drug him with morphine and he is starving to death right now because his stomach cannot digest anything. I never got it right, even though I really wanted to. It proved to be a little out of my reach to write fiction based on real events. But it’s decent at least so I thought I’d show it to you all anyway. It never got a name, so really this is just it.
Danielle pressed her eyes shut, making a futile attempt to shut out her surroundings. It was all too familiar, the doctor’s grim voice, Shane’s hand gripping her own and seeking the strength they both lacked, even the beeping of those horrible machines that kept her poor baby alive. Why me? Why me and why him? Her mingled thoughts and prayers cried out so many times of late.
“Mrs. King?” The doctor, a soft spoken woman in her fifties, rubbed Danielle’s back comfortingly.
Danielle looked at her with red eyes encircled with black and blue from lack of sleep. Her voice choked as she whispered, “Is he going to make it?”
* * * * *
Danielle and Shane were typical parents with a typical child. At just under a year old, Maks was bursting with happy energy and always ready to play. His excited babbles were sprinkled with new words every day and Danielle had made a point to record every one of them. She knew someday she’d be so happy she had.
Maks had been perfectly healthy, until that thrice cursed day, a few days after his one year well child exam. Then suddenly she and Shane noticed, he wasn’t chewing his food anymore. He no longer babbled incessantly, reciting the names of colors and foods. Something had gone terribly wrong.
* * * * *
The doctor hesitated and Danielle knew instantly, the answer she would receive. The words from her lips still shocked some part of Danielle that until then, had refused to believe. “I’m sorry.”
How could this happen? Why God? Why do you have to take him? Can’t you let me die in his place!? She begged silently. After so many years of pain, you choose to take him now? If you had to take him why not when he was one? Not now, seven years later.
Smoky blue walls. Maks wanted to be in the room with the smoky blue walls. He didn’t know what to call them. But when they moved him out of this room he immediately screamed. Danielle still remembered the pangs of motherly instinct and love that had miserably shot through her body that day. It was the only way he could communicate with the many attendants that care for him. It wasn’t fair to him, how could things have gotten this bad?
Now her baby’s body was slowly shutting down. He’d never get to play like the other kids. I promised him he would play with the other kids. He should be playing with other kids. Instead he had spent a life attached to tubes and wires. Tubes and wires that kept him alive. And before that was the drugs. So doped up that he had no hope of interaction with her or anyone else.
She had never believed that people really do rip their hair out in grief and frustration, but apparently she was doing it because when she next stopped crying long enough that the tears cleared and she could see again, she was holding two handfuls of her hair. But what else could she do? Her son was dying. He was dying the slowest most painful death in the world. He was starving to death because in order to give him a feeding tube, the doctor has to put him under. To put him under meant to put him under forever. There was nothing they could do anymore. She would have to watch as they drugged him once more. This time with morphine. Morphine to ease his passage.